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Published July 8th, 2020
Feng Shui
Painting a centrally located stairwell yellow activates the earth element that governs health, like in this Orinda home. Photo provided

Taking care of ourselves during these challenging, unprecedented times underscores the importance of addressing what we do have control over, and creating a peaceful, calm and uplifting home. Home should, ideally, restore balance and bring greater harmony into our lives, providing a place of refuge and well-being to weather life's storms. How can we attract better health and well-being at home and create with Feng Shui the sanctuary we need right now?
First, the health area is located in the middle of the Feng Shui map or Bagua and this central position is important to note since when we place health as a priority, or centrally in our lives, health will positively influence all the other life areas. The health area symbology is the Yin/Yang black and white symbol which is synonymous with balance. The Yin/Yang symbol is not rigid or fixed, it is always moving, flowing, and changing to maintain balance. Movement of Qi or energy is central to good Feng Shui and also to our health in general. When Qi or energy flows easily and moves around our home effortlessly, there is less stagnation or opportunities for imbalances to manifest.
Many of the imbalances we experience can contribute to feelings of being stuck, anxious, worried, fearful, angry or stressed out. If our spaces are out of balance it will affect our health, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. This can include too much furniture, clutter, or uneven floorplan shapes. Effective Feng Shui is like acupuncture for the environment and functions to create healthy Qi flow circulating around our homes so that we feel nourished and supported when we are in them.
What is currently located in the center area, the health and well-being area of your home? Is there a bathroom? A staircase? Is there ample natural light? A messy closet? What colors dominate the space? Is the room used often or not at all? Next, check to see what is in the center of your bedroom? Is there a ceiling fan? Is the ceiling slanted? Finally, what is also in the center of your yard? Is there clutter in any of these "center" location areas?
Some Feng Shui challenges might include draining, rushing, depressing, cutting or no Qi/energy circulating, and these and many other unintended consequences will affect our health. Make notes about what you found in all of these "center" areas of the home, the bedroom and yard and pay attention to your intuitive response in these areas as well.
The Earth element rules the center/health area of the Bagua, and is a natural fit for creating good health. This element is activated by introducing square shapes, yellow/orange/brown, crystals, shells, rocks, ceramics, clay or slate to the center of your home, bedroom or yard. In the Five Elements creative cycle, fire creates earth, so we can also place triangles, anything with the color red, candles or lights to further support the earth element for a healthy home. Adding the earth element to the center of your home will activate improved health and well-being.
In each home there exists a unique template and so while these are good places to start your healthy Feng Shui refresh, reviewing the health details of your home with a pro yields personalized results. Recently, with a new Zoom client, we made a huge impact on increasing well-being in her family's home which is located on the water. Having water behind the home can be challenging, especially when water is seen from the front entrance door. Her family had faced many unnerving health (and financial) challenges and now that everyone was at home so much of the time, she wanted to ensure they were together, creating a healthy home.
By placing a large crystal (earth element) ceiling light fixture in the center (health/earth) of the home in the "great room," we addressed many Feng Shui concerns with one adjustment. The crystal (earth) chandelier adjusted and refracted the view of the water from the front entrance door and it activated the health/earth element for the family's home. Now the room was warmly illuminated and spacious, and the home grounded in possibility.
My client could not get over the difference this small change made in her home, how it literally lifted the family's spirits and positively transformed the overall energy in the space which had a positive effect on everyone's health. Feng Shui neutralizes challenging issues so that we feel better in our homes and those positive vibes create the groundwork for improved health, and can be especially effective when also part of the overall design of the home.
Some quick tips to activate health in your own home environment:
 Declutter your home and restore peaceful calm;
 Discard broken, chipped or mismatched items;
 Complete projects methodically, one at a time;
 Clean the house with green products and enjoy peace of mind;
 Balance your space with colors you love;
 Place your bed against a solid wall facing the door;
 Create in the bath a home spa with bath salt soaks, candles,
and soft lighting;
 Eliminate depressing art or home items that do not bring you joy;
 Allow a path to your front door that is free from spiky sharp
or overgrown foliage;
 Clear kitchen counter tops and create calm;
 Create a quiet spot near a sunny window for meditation,
reading or napping;
 Create spacious and colorful uplifting views outside and clean
up the yard;
 Fix plumbing so your personal plumbing works properly;
 Ground/fix the electrical system and notice an uptick in your
own healthy circulation;
 All doorways should be cleared and well-lit so adult voices are heard;
 Clean windows for better insights and wisdom
 Introduce neroli or eucalyptus essential oils diffusers in bathrooms;
 Add flowering, colorful or fragrant plants to help refresh indoor air.

Personal Feng Shui tips for health:
 Get moving, hike, bike, dance, whatever you enjoy doing but
move your Qi;
 Balance periods of intense activity with periods of rest and relaxation;
 Be kind, patient, and helpful to yourself and others for greater
 Cleanse your life of negative people;
 Contemplate impermanence and that this too shall pass;
 Spend more time in nature;
 Play uplifting music;
 Spend time with emotionally supportive pets;
 Eat more plants, vegetables and fruits;
 Dab yourself with essential oils like Lavendar for peacefulness;
 Place Himalayan salt lamps to eradicate EMF's;
 Switch social media, electronic devices, and TV's off;
 Sleep restfully and well.
Creating a home that is healthy and provides a sanctuary for you and your family is now accessible and possible using Feng Shui, so please let me know what you notice when you make even a few of the suggestions, and please remember to email me any questions at spaceharmony@gmail.com.

The Yin/Yang symbol represents balance, health and well-being Photo provided
Color was an affordable way to adjust this center/health located bathroom (red/fire creates earth) to overcome draining bath Qi. Try this Benjamin Moore color "Poppy." Photo provided
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2019 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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